By Jake Donovan
Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado warned everyone that they only now how to fight one way in hyping their epic first encounter last October. They promised an all-our war and still managed to surpass seemingly unrealistic expectations.
Rios overcame several rocky moments to stop Alvarado midway through the seventh round. The fight was hailed by many as the Fight of the Year and no worse than among the year’s two best. It was so good that promoter Top Rank decided to match them again, with the two set to once again go to war on March 30 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
“The first fight was indescribably good,” states Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. “We’re expecting that again for this fight. Both fighters know how to bring it, and that’s great for the fans.”
Neither fighter is the least bit apologetic for their fighting style, nor should they be. Each is prepared to endure all sorts of pain from their familiar foe, in fact looking forward to it. Even more pleasurable is the level of harm each plans to inflict on the other in return.
“We can try to change it up in the gym, try to box and jab. Once the bell rings and we get it, we just go to war,” insists Rios (31-0, 22KO).
Alvarado (33-1, 23KO) admits to getting caught up in the hype the first time around. The plan for next weekend is some semblance of a game plan – until he gets punched in the face.
“I knew it would,” Alvarado said when asked if he figured the fight would turn into such a savage brawl. “Everyone has a game plan until they get in there. It was a war and going to be another war.”
“I really didn’t have a game plan. I just fought. I didn’t box the way I usually do. I didn’t go in there with a particular style. I just fought the way I know how to. I’ll be more on my game. I’ll fight the same way, just make adjustments.”
Rios is a man well aware of the stripes he wears, and asks for his fans to not expect anything different.
“I’m pretty sure he feels the same way. I know I feel this way – I’m going for a knockout,” Rios admits. “That’s the way I feel.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox